Press Release: September 11, 2015
Sir Richard Branson is back with scaled up support for food and beverage entrepreneurs and the opportunity to take the US by storm
• Finalists to showcase businesses to a panel of Britain’s top food buyers, bloggers, entrepreneurs and influencers on 2nd October
• New ‘Retail’ prize gives winners a route to the US market with retailer Target Corporation
• Initiative championed by global kids food sensation Paul Lindley, Founder of Ella’s Kitchen
•Contest open from today for one week only, deadline for submissions is 16th September
Virgin StartUp Foodpreneur Festival is back for a second consecutive year, with a mission to find Britain’s best up-and-coming food and beverage businesses.
Developed by Virgin StartUp, Sir Richard Branson’s not-for-profit company providing funding and support for entrepreneurs, the popular food festival promises to supersede last year’s campaign with amazing new partners and even bigger prizes, including the ultimate business opportunity – the chance for UK foodies to launch their companies in the US.
The initiative is available to enter from today and will culminate on 2nd October in London. Workshops from leading industry figures will start in the morning, with the Finalists showcasing their food businesses in the afternoon to a panel of foodie giants, led by Paul Lindley, Founder of Ella’s Kitchen, and Sir Richard Branson himself.
The Judges will select Winners from two categories, each with their own individual prize package that includes existing routes to market and the chance to raise their business profiles. The two categories and prizes are as follows:
• Street Food - Judged in collaboration with Urban Food Fest and Appear Here
1) One winner will receive a rent-free pop up for 1 week (Monday – Sunday) via Appear Here at Old Street Underground Station
2) One winner will receive a stall for 3 months (Saturdays only) at Urban Food Fest in Shoreditch rent-free
• Retail - Judged in in collaboration with Exporting is GREAT and Target Corporation
1) Four winners will get the opportunity to meet buyers at Target Corporation in the US, whom are seeking up to four new products to trial in their American stores.
2) The trial for any selected products would take place across 300 stores with the option, at Target’s discretion, for successful products to be rolled out to all 2000 Target Corporation stores after six months.
The project is supported by Exporting is GREAT: the UK government’s ambitious new campaign, which aims to inspire 100,000 new businesses to export by 2020.
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group said:
“Britain is living through a golden age of entrepreneurship with over 5million small businesses providing jobs and helping to boost the economy. At the heart of this are British foodie start-ups which have created a burgeoning industry of entrepreneurs. Last year’s event unearthed some fantastic talent and I can’t wait to meet the next wave of foodpreneurs driving this movement forward.”
Paul Lindley Founder of Ella’s Kitchen said:
“The US market can be a holy grail to young British brands looking to expand internationally. I am excited to be working with Virgin StartUp on our joint mission to find pioneering entrepreneurs and help them gain the momentum needed to crack new markets. Drawing on my own experience and the excellent opportunities on offer through the collaboration with Target Corporation, I am confident that soon US consumers will soon be discovering some fantastic new British food brands!”
To enter the competition, foodpreneurs should head to www.foodpreneur.virginstartup.org, where full T&Cs are also available. To grab a ticket to the Foodpreneur workshop go to http://foodpreneurfestival2015.eventbrite.co.uk.
The Virgin StartUp Foodpreneur Festival 2015 will take place on 2nd October at The Vinyl Factory, 18 Marshall St, London W1F 7BE, with workshops starting at 9am followed by business showcasing at 12pm.
To find out more, search for @virginstartup or #VirginFoodFest on Twitter or visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/virginstartup
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